Envious Spinach Pancake Pie

With all the holiday feasting, my buttons are popping. It’s time to get back into the health game and I’m a firm believer in slow recovery – all those leftovers still call my name in the middle of the night. Thank you all recipes for supplying me with a great stepping stone: Spinach Pancake Pie. It doesn’t sound like the start of a health kick but the addition of spinach is a vital component. Popeye would be proud – glug glug glug.

 

Ingredients:

For the pancakes

120g plain flour

250ml milk

2 eggs

pinch of salt

30g butter or margarine

 

For the filling

30g butter or margarine

40g plain flour

500ml milk

1 teaspoon concentrated stock

2 eggs, beaten

100g Parmesan cheese, grated

300g frozen spinach, thawed

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

pinch of grated nutmeg

butter or dripping for tin

1 egg yolk

150g cream fraiche

 

Spinach

Photo by Ted Major

Method:

For the pancakes

  1. In a bowl combine the flour, milk, eggs and salt to make a thin batter. Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour in approximately 3 tablespoons of batter and swirl the pan quickly, so that the batter is spread as evenly and as thinly as possible.
  2. Fry the pancakes on both sides until golden, and set the finished pancakes aside. The batter should be enough for 8 pancakes (about 18cm diameter).

For the filling

  1. Melt butter in a pan and sprinkle in the flour. Cook for a minute or two. Add the milk, stirring, and bring to the boil. Now add the stock, eggs and half of the Parmesan. Add the thawed spinach and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
  2. Butter a baking dish. Spread some filling on the first pancake, roll the pancake up and place in the dish. Do with same with the remaining pancakes.
  3. Stir together the egg yolk, creme fraiche and the rest of the Parmesan and pour over the pancakes.
  4. Place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes at 225 C / Gas 7.

Bold, Beautiful, Boho – Ramen with a Twist

Embrace your earthy side and mix up a steamy bowl of veggies and noodles. It looks amazing and tastes even better, thanks to the glorious recipe by Carrie Anne from ‘Little Big’. The colours, the flavours, the pre-packaged ramen it all tastes like boho – on a budget. Sigh. Perfect combination of soft earth tones with pops of colour – Boho beautiful.

Ingredients Include:

White Onion

Celery

Garlic

Ginger

Snow peas

Baby bok choy

Carrots

Cabbage

Green onion tops

Dried shiitake mushrooms

Broccoli

An Egg (can be substituted by small shrimp, tofu, or thin strips of beef)

Five spice powder (can be substituted by ginger or curry powder)

mirin (a Japanese cooking wine)

Tamari soy sauce (a mellow, low-sodium Japanese soy sauce)

Sesame seeds

Ponzu (a citrus-y sauce)

Gomasio (ground sesame seeds and salt)

Furikake (a seaweed and spice mix)

Toasted sesame oil

Simple Ramen flavours like pork, beef, chicken or seafood mix

Peanut Oil (can be substituted for vegetable or canola)

Chopped Vegetables

Photo by: Janice Cullivan

Method:

  1. Chop all your vegetables to nice small bite size and heat some oil on medium in a pan.
  2. Next, add onions, celery, and dried spices and sizzle away for about three minutes. Add a splash of mirin and let it bubble for two more minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir for 30 seconds before adding the water.
  4. Add the amount of water as indicated on your ramen package.
  5. Now you’ll begin to add your vegetables. Mind the relative cooking times of the vegetables you add. First the dried shiitake mushrooms and choose the smaller bits of mushrooms to cook fully.
  6. Then hearty vegetables like carrots and broccoli go in. Five minutes in you can add the snow peas and bok choy bottoms.
  7. Ten minutes in, add the thinly sliced cabbage and bok choy tops. Add the tender green onion tops at the very end before serving.
  8. After about fifteen minutes of vegetable simmering time, add your ramen noodles and cook for another minute or two, loosening them up a bit.
  9. If you are adding egg: while the vegetables are simmering break an egg or two into a bowl, add a bit of tamari, and stir as you would for scrambled eggs. Pour this in now while stirring in an imitation of egg drop soup. (Tofu can be added when you add the snow peas; thinly sliced beef can be added with the noodles or even right before serving. Add shrimp near the end. For a poached egg skip the soy sauce and the stirring and add one on top of the bowl.)
  10. Add the spices from the ramen packet at the end and stir to combine.
  11. For some toppings, a few drops of toasted sesame oil, some furikake and a slice of steamed fish cake.

Now eat your boho heart out.

Lamb dumpling hotpot

One of my all time favourite lamb dishes – I absolutely love the way the dumplings mop up the juices of the lamb – gorgeous! A life affirming dish. Serves 4.

What You Need:

  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1/2 oz lard or dripping
  • 8 best end or middle of neck lamb chops
  • 1 tbs plain flour
  • 1 large (15 1/2 oz) can peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 pint water
  • 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • For parsley dumplings
  • 4oz self-raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 oz shredded suet
  • 1 tbs chopped parsley

Method:

1. Prepare a moderate oven (180C/350F/Gas 4).

2. Peel and slice onion and carrots. Wash and slice celery.

3. Melt lard in a frying pan. Add onion, carrots and celery and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and place in the bottom of a 2 1/2-pint shallow casserole.

4. Coat chops in plain flour and add to pan and brown quickly on both sides. Arrange chops on vegetables.

5. Place tomatoes, water, mixed dried herbs, salt and pepper in pan. Bring to boil, stirring, and pour over lamb.

6. Cover, and cook in centre of oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until meat is tender.

7. Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in suet and parsley. Mix to a soft, but not sticky, dough with water. Form into 8 small balls. Place on top of hot-pot and cook, uncovered, for a further 15 to 20 minutes, until dumplings are risen and cooled. Plain flour plus half a tsp of baking powder does just as well for the dumplings.